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Seat reveals its first electric model

  • Cars set for trials in Spain
  • Plug-in hybrid claims 166mpg and 39g/km
  • Production plug-in hybrid due in 2015, electric Seat in 2016
Words By Tom Webster

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Seat has unveiled its first electric and plug-in hybrid models, which are based on the Altea XL and Leon family hatchbacks.

The Altea XL Electric Ecomotive is a fully battery-powered car, while the Leon Twindrive Ecomotive is a plug-in hybrid. Both are taking part in trials with the Spanish Government, and the information gathered will help develop a production version within the next five years.

Seat intends to launch a plug-in hybrid car by 2015, with a fully electric car to follow in 2016. There is no word on whether these cars will be adaptations of existing models, or bespoke creations such as the Nissan Leaf.

The electric Altea XL has a 113bhp motor. Top speed is limited to 84mph, but the car covers the 0-62mph dash in 12 seconds. The car's range is a modest 84 miles.

The car also features solar panel cells on its roof, which circulate cool air throughout the cars cabin, to reduce strain on the air-conditioning system and, in turn, the battery.

The Leon Twindrive combines a 113bhp 1.4-litre petrol engine with a 113bhp electric motor to give an average of 166mpg and emissions of 39g/km.

It should manage 32 miles on electric power only, and has a potential overall range of 550 miles.